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Happy Fourth of July (yuck)


BAH! Humbug, I say!

Of all the holidays in the year, I like The Fourth of July least of all — even less than September 19th, which is Talk Like a Pirate Day. (That might not seem like much of a holiday, but if you’ve ever taught 3-5 in elementary school, you know the deal.)

It is safe to say that I absolutely LOATHE and DESPISE this overblown monstrosity of a midsummer excuse for a day off.

If someone ever decided to take Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol and set it in America on the Fourth of July, I would HAPPILY play Ebenezer Scrooge and hand out copious amounts of humbugs to anyone who would listen. I suppose instead of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, I would be assaulted and browbeaten by the Ghosts of Edward Rutledge, Button Gwinnett, and John Penn!

Humbug, I say! Bring them on.

Ooohhh, John! I bet King George will be REALLY impressed with your big ol' signature!

Now I hope no one mistakes my lack of devotion to this insanity called July 4th for a lack of patriotism. I adore what the Fourth of July stands for . . . I just hate the celebrations surrounding it AND I think we celebrate the COMPLETELY WRONG DAY. If we’re going to call something Independence Day, then July 4th is ludicrous. A bunch of rich white men — about half of whom never picked up a musket in the Revolution — signed a big piece of parchment in a blazing hot hall in Philadelphia.


Signing the “Declaration of Independence” didn’t a bit more make this country free than me signing a million dollar record deal makes me able to sing. As a matter of fact, had things gone differently in just a mere handful of battles, skirmishes, and alliances, we’d still be members of the Commonwealth of Nations, if not the United Kingdom, and the Fourth of July would be another November 5th style Bonfire Night in the streets of London. The only difference would be the great drunken unwashed masses would burn Washington in effigy instead of Guy Fawkes. Read about what the Crown authorities did to HIM when they caught him and you’ll see just what would have awaited Jefferson, Franklin, and Co. if the French hadn’t taken pity on us (yes, there actually WAS a time when the Frogs could fight instead of retreat).

Who knows, maybe V would have worn a George Washington mask in the comics instead of a Fawkes visage.

Why yes, Mr. Cornwallis, sir, I believe we upstart rabble DID kick y'all's pompous British @$$es! (GW was from Virginia and therefore a Southerner and would have used y'all)

No, if we’re going to properly celebrate something, let’s celebrate October 19th!! THAT was our REAL independence day because THAT was the day an unruly mass of shopkeepers, merchants, tradesmen, and yeomen farmers (with a little — okay, a LOT of — help from the aforementioned French)  beat the most powerful army of the most powerful nation on Earth at a little place called Yorktown.  (Jeez, how can we owe the FRENCH our freedom of all people? The ignominy of it all.) THAT’S when we were free! Think about it — the US Navy has never named a ship the U.S.S. Declaration of Independence, now have they? On the other hand, at least TWO very important aircraft carriers — one of which is a floating museum about 200 miles from where I’m sitting — have been named U.S.S. Yorktown.

However, bad history isn’t the MAIN reason I despise the Fourth of July. No, I hate the Fourth of July for two much more obvious and realistic reasons. First, I am FAT and FAIR-SKINNED. Neither of those conditions makes for a great deal of enjoyment on a holiday that falls in the HOTTEST month of the year AND where everything — barbeques, the beach, the lake, etc — that people want to do is OUTSIDE.

Haven’t any of these Sol-worshipping lunatics heard about the Atmospheric Ozone Hole or Global Warming? Oh, that’s right, the GOP has control of part of Congress right now so Global Warming is a myth for another election cycle.

It’s CRAZY HOT OUTSIDE! How much fun can you have with sweat pooling in your nether regions?! I think not much, and have you ever SEEN what goes into most lakes? All that treated sewage water has to go somewhere. That’s another good reason for celebrating Yorktown instead of Liberty Hall — it’d be a WHOLE LOT COOLER!!

The REAL, MAIN reason for my loathing the Fourth of July, however, is simple. I. Hate. Firecrackers. I hate them with a passion the Bloods reserve for the Crips, the passion Red Sox fans reserve for Yankees fans, the passion Cleveland reserves for LeChoke. But you get the point.

I don’t mind the professional displays put on by people with the appropriate credentials to be dealing with high explosives. They are actually very pretty and if I can go to one and get a spot not surrounded by Rhode Island’s population squeezed onto a football field, I’ll gladly go.

No, I hate Roman candles, Black Cat firecrackers, and MOST OF ALL, bottle rockets. I hope a special circle of Hell awaits the Chinese fool who invented bottle rockets. Bottle rockets should be placed on the UN list of weapons of mass destruction. You might think that’s funny and a little overdramatic — but then you aren’t a TOAD! Think about it.

By far, though, the worst part of bottle rocketry comes from the “backyard artillery specialists” who have such great fun “shooting them off!” Personally, I think it’s a compensation thing, but what do I know. All I know is the bombardment starts a good week before the Fourth with just a few random pops, but come the night of “Independence Day” all Hell breaks loose in an all out aerial attack that terrifies my dog, sets many small brushfires, and keeps me awake in fear of my roof becoming a conflagration. It seems to me that the legislature should pass some sort of law that requires people who buy and set off these black powder menaces to at least have a minimum of three teeth. As another safety feature, the “firecrackers” should have some sort of audio amplified microphone that renders the explosive charges inert if the words “Hey y’all, watch this,” OR “Somebody whol’ my beer ‘n hand me that ‘ar lighter.”

We are talking about people (and I use that word loosely) who are not only willing, but delight in putting the stick of a bottle rocket in their anus and lighting it so their butt cheeks sear in the escaping flame and gift us with Eau de Fried Redneck.

Here’s an idea, Bubba; put the bottle rocket on THE OTHER SIDE. Maybe it’ll cook your genetic material and save us from your offspring. Imagine that. Bottle rocket as tool of natural selection — who’d have thought?

Well, all y’all who insist on roasting yourselves, have a good day today, wash your feet tonight, and remember that even if y’all drive me insane, ol’ G.S. Feet still loves you!

Til next time, have a good one!

On Outdoor Nuptuals


Yesterday, my exquisitely multi-talented wife reached back for one of her former professions and created two beautiful bouquets for one of her fellow teachers who was getting married. Budge attended the wedding; I did not. I have told Budge — and anyone else who would listen — that it was all I could do to endure my OWN wedding, 35 minute marathon that it was, much less sit through someone else’s ceremony. Don’t misunderstand me, my wife planned a gorgeous wedding for us in a very short time on a even shorter budget, but the fact remains that am not a wedding fan. Of course, that is one of the few areas I am like many other males. I’m not certain I’ve ever heard anyone in possession of  an unsullied Y-chromosome say, “Oh wow! My buddy Glenlivet is getting married!! I’m not in it, but PLEASE let’s go!!”

That is not to say we of The Brotherhood of Men will not, on occasion, be dragged kicking and screaming from our spot on the sofa in front of The Game to be shoehorned into our most uncomfortable set of clothes, forcibly shod with shoes designed as medieval torture devices first and footwear second, then marched, nearly at bayonet point, to some relative or friend’s wedding.

But we don’t have to like it!

Yesterday, though, I was excused from the ceremony. I will say, however, that for someone having an outside wedding as this couple was, yesterday’s weather was hard to beat. The sky was a radiant azure with nary a cloud to mar the canvas of heaven and the temperature was quite mild, even if the ladies were obliged to leave off the shawls originally planned for the occasion. It was verily the perfect day for an intimate backyard hitching up.

This meteorological perfection stands in rank contrast to the only OTHER outdoor wedding I attended, and that against my will. That marriage ceremony, early in Budge and mine’s own tenure of wedded bliss, provided the single, solitary time in — to date — fourteen years of marriage when the two of us very nearly had “words.” It is also the only one of a veritable plethora of  incidents of my being an ass for which I have steadfastly refused to apologize ONLY because I STILL maintain that I was in the right.

Allow me to present my case and ye may judge.

First of all, I barely knew the bride as one of Budge’s college classmates and I had nary a clue as to the groom’s identity. Next, the wedding was scheduled for 3:00 PM on a Saturday. The hours of 2:00 to 4:00 PM on Saturdays have been marked out on my calendar as dedicated time for studying the backs of my eyelids for structural imperfections at least since I was in college. I was being dragged to a wedding when I was supposed to be sleeping.

Then was the matter of the time of YEAR for this debacle. Yesterday’s wedding was in the relatively mild weather of an Upstate October. The wedding to which I refer was in AUGUST. For those of you who may live in other parts of the world than the Blessed Land of Dixie, allow me to explain — AUGUST in South Carolina has two temperatures: blast furnace and Hellish. Sane people do not leave the safety of air conditioned houses in “The Burning Month” except to go to an air conditioned car and drive to another air conditioned location.

Which brings me to my next point. This wedding was not only outside on an August afternoon that would have melted car tires on green grass, it was in the middle of a church lawn. NO SHADE. NONE. NOUGHT. NADA. NO TREES. Not even a canopy. The heat was only broken by the breeze generated when one of the BLACK TUXEDO clad groomsmen fell out from sunstroke and made the air move by his descent. Finally, the wedding lasted nearly AN HOUR and these people were NOT Catholic. No Mass or other sermon was involved.

So, allow me to sum up. For over an hour, I was standing in slip-on toe-pincers with WOOL socks under a pair of navy pants topped by a royal blue polo in the middle of a forty acre pasture on the hottest day since the Earth cooled from it’s fiery formation watching someone I didn’t particularly know or like get married. For those who don’t know, I am NOT a small man. I am large. I am fat, nay I AM OBESE! Fat men were never meant to endure those types of conditions. Within five minutes of leaving the comfort of the car’s excellent A/C, I had an Amazon Rivulet of perspiration running from my bald spot, through my hair, down my back, cascading in a cataract of sweat around my nether regions thence to trickle down into my toe-pincers and form two puddles of lukewarm misery.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I was HOT as the HINGES of HADES and my body was literally rendering into lard as I stood there watching this slip of a girl in her WHITE, SLEEVELESS, BACKLESS wedding dress get married.

Then we had the reception, which, thanks be to God the Father of All Things, was indoors. Of course, the A/C was having all it could do to pull down the temperature from somewhere near boiling since, as I think I’ve mentioned before, it was the HOTTEST FRICKING DAY OF THE YEAR and 400+ people were packed into the space somewhat smaller than the Apollo command capsule. Didn’t matter to me, though. A stroll through the depths of Mauna Kea in Hawaii at full eruption would have been cooler than outside.

It was at that point that the final straw was applied to this dromedary’s spine. A caterer waitress set a plate of GRILLED EGGPLANT down in front of me. Turns out the bride was a VEGAN.

I am not a vegan.

I was hot, I was hungry, and I had missed my nap. This was not going to end well.

It was at that point that I looked — just looked — at my lovely wife and something on my face made her run to the ladies’ room, friends in tow, to cry about how mean I was and folks, at that point and for the only time in our marriage, I really DIDN’T CARE!!

We laugh about that day now, as much for the reactions of our friends who were with us as anything else, BUT that also remains the LAST outdoor wedding I ever went to with Budge.

Now, as you go to wash your feet I ask you, “WAS I WRONG OR NOT!!!???”

Love y’all!